Saturday, May 30, 2020

Be Present Virtually by Creating Your Virtual Classroom!

As we finish up the school year and look to the fall we have a lot of questions: What will the fall look like? Will we be full virtual? Will we be in a blended environment? Will our classes be down to 50% present at one time, with the other completing assignments virtually? Or will it be a combination of any/all of these?
We just don't know, and may not for a while. 
At this point, I believe we should plan on setting up our virtual classroom because no matter what happens you will be able to use it with students. Having a physical classroom and virtual one set up will allow your students, and their parents to have access to you and the learning no matter what happens during the 20-21 school year.

Here's an easy step by step way to create your virtual classroom:
  1. Set up Google Sites as your main 'portal' to your virtual classroom. Making sure this site is accessible to anyone with the link will also allow this portal to be accessible to your parents, as well as the students.
  2. On the main page of your Site embed your bitmoji virtual classroom. This classroom will contain links to your weekly plan, websites that students will need, and other important documents/websites that are needed.
  3. Create your weekly plan (or unit choice board) that includes all the assignments the student needs to complete for the designated timeframe. Any assignments that require something to be created, answered, or uploaded, would link directly to the Google Classroom assignment. This will allow all your turned in assignments to be in one place for each checking, grading and offering feedback.
  4. Create assignments in Google Classroom and link directly back to your weekly plan.
Other possibilities include having a parent page off your Google Site with parent/student 'how-tos', or other assistance. Other pages can include links directly to virtual building sites or other team teacher sites.
Here are some video tutorials to help you create this new learning vision!

Be Present Virtually! (Video showing steps to create your bitmoji virtual classroom)

Creating a Weekly Plan/ Choice Board:

Stay tuned for more tutorials on creating your Google Site Portal!

New Vision, New Blog

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Moving forward we need to be mindful of how technology is a part of learning. Mindfulness about purpose and role will be key as we move forward with the learning and teaching in this new now. 

    From 2009-2020 my blog existed at Technology Chatter using the edublog platform. Due to various reasons I have decided to move my blog over to this Blogger platform starting now (June 2020). It seems fitting to make this transition now as we are just finishing up 3 months of virtual learning brought on by the closures due to COVID-19. Priorities that existed pre-March 2020 have shifted as we have discussions on what the 'new now' will look like. What hasn't changed is how students learn. Now more than ever, whether we are physically in a school building or in a virtual classroom online, we need to engage students in authentic, real-world problem-based, and project-based learning. That is the base of my new blog title 'Mindful Edtech'. 

Sit back, grab a cup of coffee and let's be mindful about where we are going and how we are using Edtech to advance and extend learning!